The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions.
Our project was started around a dinner table before Christmas by Arianna Huffington and a few friends as a discussion of how individuals could limit the power of the big banks and create a more sane, stable financial system. The solution was simple: move your money out of the “Too Big To Fail” banks and into local community banks and credit unions. These smaller financial institutions are typically more conservative about how they manage their money, they’re more closely connected to the people and businesses who live near them and they’re more inclined to make loans they know will get paid back. In other words, they have the values that more people would want banks to have. Plus, they tend to have fewer fees and offer better returns for consumers. It’s neither a conservative nor liberal idea; just a way for individuals to vote with their dollars and create a better financial landscape.
Thanks in part to a great video, in part to its simplicity and in part to the thousands of people who have taken up the cause, the idea spread like wildfire. More than 150 different media outlets have covered the campaign, from major sources like CNN and ABC World News to small-town newspapers and student weeklies. Major politicians and celebrities like Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, and Alan Cumming have endorsed the idea, and large national organizations are hopping on board to take our message to their members (check out our Campaigns page to see whom we’re working with).
In our short existence, we’ve had some amazing success. An estimated two million people have left their big banks in the first three months of 2010, and even more, are on their way. A Zogby poll showed that nine percent of American adults had moved some of their money away from the big banks in protest, and a JD Power and Associates survey revealed that almost two-thirds of consumers would consider leaving their bank. As a result of all this moving, local banks and credit unions are opening record numbers of new accounts.
We started out as an all-volunteer operation, but as the idea has taken off we’ve realized the need to grow. We are now organized as a nonprofit and are raising money to help hire a few staffers and give them the support they need. If you can, please consider making a donation below.
Thanks for stopping by. We hope this idea will continue to spread in a thousand different ways.